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Tampa Workers' Compensation Attorney / Blog / Social Security Disability / You May Qualify for SSD Benefits if You Have Any of These 5 Psychological Conditions

You May Qualify for SSD Benefits if You Have Any of These 5 Psychological Conditions


Contrary to popular belief, Social Security Disability benefits are not only available to those who suffer from physical injuries and disorders. Individuals with established and severe psychological conditions and mental illnesses may also qualify.

However, understandably, proving your eligibility for SSD benefits if you have a psychological condition that prevents you from working will be tough.

5 Mental Illnesses That May Qualify for Social Security Disability

Yes, there is actually a list of mental illnesses that may entitle you to receive disability benefits. However, you will be required to show that your condition (a) significantly interferes with your ability to work and (b) prevents you from holding down a full-time job for at least 12 months.

We have outlined five widespread mental illnesses that may negatively impact your ability to work and may entitle you to receive monthly SSD payments.

  1. Depression. Some studies estimate that more than 16 million adults in the U.S. have at least one major depressive episode per year. Depression is a serious condition associated with difficulty concentrating, sleep disturbance, and the loss of interest in all activities. It is no wonder why people who suffer from depression may be unable to perform their job. Note: Make sure that your depression has been documented by a licensed mental health professional for at least one or two years.
  2. Bipolar disorder. This psychological condition is characterized by experiencing episodes of mania and sudden surges of energy, followed by depression and lack of energy. Note: To qualify for SSD with a bipolar disorder, you must be able to show a history of manic and depressive behaviors documented by a certified doctor, as well as psychiatrist reports that show your inability to hold a regular job.
  3. Panic disorder. If you experience random episodes of intense and unjustified fear that may trigger irrational and uncontrollable reactions, you may be suffering from panic disorder. Note: It is easier to qualify for disability benefits if an individual has suffered several documented panic attacks in the past 12 months. Likewise, the fear of having another panic attack on the job may prevent you from holding down a full-time job and may entitle you to SSD.
  4. Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD). An individual suffering from OCD has obsessive, intrusive thoughts and is driven to perform repetitive behaviors. These symptoms may interfere with a person’s ability to work. Note: You will need to be diagnosed with OCD in order to qualify for SSD.
  5. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. PTSD is a consequence of surviving a traumatic event such as rape, personal injury, participating in a war, or witnessing a terrorist attack. PTSD is characterized by recurrent panic attacks, persistent anxiety, and uncontrollable thoughts of the past traumatic experience. Note: If PTSD negatively affects your ability to work, you may be entitled to receive SSD benefits.

Why Proving That You Qualify for SSD with a Mental Illness is Tough

Receiving SSD benefits if you have one of the above-mentioned psychological conditions can be challenging because:

  • disability claims examiners who work for Social Security Administration (SSA) are not licensed psychiatrists;
  • SSA examiners may be biased against claims for mental illness;
  • the criteria for assessing most psychological conditions are subjective; and
  • there are very few tests to evaluate the severity of mental illness.

That is why you need a Tampa Social Security disability attorney to prove that you qualify for SSD with a mental illness. Contact Kobal Law to discuss your eligibility. Call at 813-873-2440 or go to our contact page.

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